All Articles Tagged "Olivia Pope"

Why I’m Thrilled To See More Complex Black Female Characters On TV, No Matter How Messy Some May Be

July 29th, 2014 - By La Truly
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"Nia Long pf"


“It’s not positive images of Black people that we need, but complex ones.”Teyonah Parris

The tense debate about the representation of Black women in entertainment is not new. It has been a hot-button issue since the beginning of modern film and television. From the controversy over The Color Purple and the outrage over acclaimed actress Viola Davis being nominated for an Oscar for playing a maid, to the hype surrounding Olivia Pope “handling” primetime television and Gabrielle Union bringing the lovestruck crazy as Mary Jane Paul, we have been at a war of sorts over our image. We’ve been at said war with one another, with the writers, with the actresses themselves and with those who hand out the Oscars and the Emmys. We get extreme images that either display the really good or the really downtrodden (and I’m not bringing up reality TV because there are so few positive images): Clair Huxtable or Precious. Vivian Banks or Kizzy. We’ve not seen or embraced anything remotely close to complex characters on a consistent basis until recently, and I, for one, am thrilled about this new interest in and push for complexity.

It’s a welcomed change. It’s high time we acknowledge the multi-faceted Black woman. She is loving, angry, confused, ambitious, intelligent, greedy, giving, depressed, faithful, needy, searching, joyful, fly, pleasant, messy, neurotic and becoming. It’s reaffirming for me to see this type of woman portrayed because I have been and can be all of these things. This Black woman is relatable for me and I know it will be for my future daughters. In this time, the Digital Age where so much of our lifestyle, social interaction, and ideals are informed more by entertainment than ever, more true-to-life representation is necessary to balance the skewed view that many young Black girls are growing up with. Sure, I’ll teach my daughters that it is possible to be a wife, mother AND businesswoman. But I will also teach them that sometimes bad relationships happen. How excellent would it be if they were able to recognize such a spectrum in what they see on television too? If what they saw on television was more reflective of our real emotions, issues, triumphs and struggles? We are just now breaking through the barriers and producing content that will help us, and the generations after us, see a vast number of Black women onscreen, as well as young Black girls too. Doc McStuffins, Princess Tiana and Penny Proud paint a subtle but solid picture of what/who Black girls are and what they can become in the developmental stages. I could have shed tears when I walked into Target and saw a Doc McStuffins costume! We are beginning to pair the the telling with actually showing our girls (and ourselves) what diversity within our Blackness, and as women, looks like in entertainment. Now we can consistently view ourselves just as varied and adaptable for all stages in life. To me, this proves very valuable for Black women and girls and I am ecstatic.

My daughters will have me to look up to, but also diverse images of WOC in their books and on their televisions that we can have open, honest and stimulating conversations about. This will be a good change from only looking to either the perfect or the downtrodden caricatures that Black women on-screen have been made to bounce between for too long.

With complex Black women characters like Nia Long as the politically savvy Billie Page in WeTV’s new drama series “The Divide,”  Gina Torres as Jessica Pearsona top law firm executive trying to maintain her spot as the only WOC at her level on USA’s hit show “Suits,” or the highly-anticipated arrival of Annalise Keating in “How To Get Away With Murder,” starring Viola Davis as the charismatic and seductive professor, we are getting to see ourselves onscreen as composite and colorful as we are in reality. Because regardless of what we say, entertainment is a large part of our lives collectively. Pushing for the range of our stories to become available in these spaces of entertainment for all to see is half the battle. We, as Black women, are starting to win and I, for one, am excited about what the future of entertainment holds for us.

La Truly is a writer, college professor and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences  to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @ashleylatruly and check out her site:

“Harrison Has Met His End”: Shonda Rhimes Drops Spoilers About Season 4 Of “Scandal,” Including Premiere Date

July 16th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Season three of Scandal left me scratching my head, but as always, anxious for season four: Olivia left her Gladiators behind to fly off to Lord knows where with Jake, now free from B-613; Fitz and Mellie are trying to keep it together after her rape came out and the shocking loss of their son; After tongue swapping with Quinn, she leads Huck back to his family; and Papa Pope has duped everyone and is now back on top as head of B-613, capping that all off by putting Maya back in jail and a bullet in Harrison’s head. Talk about drama!

If you’re super ready for the fourth season, according to BuzzFeed, the show will premiere on September 25 at 9 p.m. (not its usual 10 p.m. slot). The show will lead into Shonda Rhimes’ new program, How To Get Away With Murder, which of course stars Viola Davis. And Scandal will return to its max of 22 episodes after only airing 18 last season to accommodate Kerry Washington’s pregnancy.

So what can we expect from season four after all those cliffhangers? TV Guide chatted with Rhimes about picking up where she left off:

There Will Be A Time Jump:

When we leave, she’s on a plane headed to God knows where. When we come back into the season, we find ourselves in a surprising place both time-wise and location-wise.

What’s Going To Happen With The Love Triangle Of Olivia, Fitz And Jake:

I always think about the finale when she says to him very clearly, “I am in love with another man.” And he says, “Let’s go anyway.” He goes off with her knowing full well that she’s very clear about her feelings for somebody else. So, whatever that relationship is, as fun or romantic or happy as that will be, she’s very clearly in love with another man. I don’t know what that holds for them. They have to face whatever that’s going to mean.

What’s Next For Mellie And Fitz:

It’s interesting because we’re not just dealing with what happened to Mellie. You have to remember that everything that happens now takes place [after] the death of their child. [Fitz has] the knowledge that, as far as he knows, Olivia’s mother was responsible for the death of their child, and that basically, in a weird way, he is at fault for the death of their child. If he had not been involved with Olivia, none of that would’ve happened. Post the death of the child, he has some care-taking to do. He feels a responsibility to take care of [Mellie]. Whether or not he loves her, whether or not that relationship is viable isn’t really a factor right now. He’s got responsibilities to take care of.

What’s Next For Huck And His Family:

Our first thought about Huck knocking [on his wife's] door and what became of Huck knocking on that door when we really played it out in our minds is very, very different. It’s very heartbreaking. When we come back at the beginning of the season, everybody is in a place that you don’t expect. Nothing is what you think it could possibly have turned out to be. There’s a real sense of, “How did everybody get here?!

What’s Next For The Abandoned Gladiators:

One of the things that we did specifically when we created the show is slowly deploy people’s stories. It was purposeful. Season 4 is Abby’s season. That was by design. A lot of what we know about Abby happens this season. A lot of what we discover about her and see about her back story will happen as we tell Abby’s story.

What’s Next For Harrison:

It’s safe to assume that Harrison has met his end.

What are your hopes for season four? I’m personally hoping that now that the bloody re-election campaign is over, Olivia will return to her Gladiators and her cases and maybe even meet a new man. But I won’t hold my breath. Someone else who doesn’t know what to expect is Kerry Washington, but she recently told USA Today that she’s embracing the unknown.

“We don’t have a script yet, I don’t even know if that plane is going to Turks and Caicos or maybe it had engine trouble and is right back in D.C. I don’t know where she’s going. It’s pretty crazy. You can’t thrive with this material unless you’re willing to embrace the unknown. I’m type A, hyper prepared – it challenges me to surrender to these writers.”

Check out the rest of the new season spoilers in the interview with TV Guide, including what’s next for Papa (Rowan) Pope and share your thoughts.

Olivia Pope Has Left The Building! ‘Scandal’ Season Finale Pulls In Great Ratings

April 25th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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scandal-abc-finale featSpeaking of Scandal…

It’s been a season of highs and lows for Shonda Rhimes’ series, but it definitely ended on a high. The season three finale of Scandal was watched by 10.5 million viewers, according to E! Online.

The episode was also a hit with the coveted 18-to-49 demographic, pulling in a 3.4 rating for that set. The ABC show also blew its competition away. Parenthood‘s season finale on NBC drew only 3.7 million viewers and a 1.3 rating. A rerun of CBS’ NCIS had six million viewers and a 1.0 rating.

Spoiler alert if you’re still catching up on your DVR!!!

The Scandal cliffhanger: Olivia Pope up and quit her job! And this final scene ended up being quite telling.

But while “Olivia ultimately wound up jetting off for parts unknown,  Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes teased that the professional fixer might come back,” reports Black America Web. (Umm… yeah, she’ll be back.)

“She did quit her job; you might watch her on the beach somewhere. We’ll have to see next season,” Rhimes told Jimmy Kimmel. “There’s that last look after she chooses to ignore the phone call from the White House when she sort of says she’s sure to Jake and then she looks out the window when you can really see that she’s not so sure.”

Then there are questions about Quinn. Papa Pope. B6-13. And will Jake come back with Liv? And what about Fitz and Mellie?! So many questions. But one thing is for sure: Kerry Washington will be a new mom and we can stop with the crazy belly covering from floating lamps and folders full of papers. Oh yeah… and Harrison.

What do you think will happen next season?

“Don’t Make The Same Mistakes They Make, How ‘Bout That?” Taraji P. Henson Talks Olivia Pope, Mary Jane, And Spirituality In The Industry

April 2nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Taraji P. Henson Talks Empire

Taraji in character for Empire Source: Instagram

Taraji P. Henson may no longer star on “Person of Interest” but we can guarantee the film industry will be quite interested in her this year, as will audiences. Prepping for what could likely be the actress’s biggest year since her 2009 Academy Award nomination, Taraji chatted with us this morning about all the great things she has in the works, like becoming the new host of BET’s Celebration of Gospel and starring in Lee Daniels’ Fox pilot Empire. The 43-year-old also imparted her wisdom on maintaining a spiritual connection to God among all the distractions of Hollywood and she told us how she really feels about the criticisms of Black female characters on television. Check out the Q&A below:

Tell us about your new project Empire and your character, Cookie Lyon?

“Empire is like the Sopranos meets Dynasty, plus hip-hop. The empire is a record label and Lucious (Terrence Howard), who plays my husband, is about to take the company public so they stand to make a lot of money. My character and Lucious both sold drugs when they were really young and silly to start the record label so my character goes away, does 17 hard years, comes home and now that the company is about to make so much money, the crabs come out the barrel. What I love about it is we deal with a lot of heavy subject matters. It’s a Lee Daniels project and he’s not afraid to push the envelope so we deal with the taboo of being gay in the African American community because one of my sons is gay.”

How do you think audiences will react to the exploration of homosexuality in the Black community?

“I think audiences will enjoy it. Art is supposed to ruffle your feathers and make you think. It’s not supposed to be safe. It’s supposed to show you life’s ugly truths and that’s the only way you make a change. If nobody knows you can’t make a change. We didn’t really understand Boyz n the Hood until John (Singleton) made a movie about it. I never understood what gangs were until I saw colors. So you can’t change anything you don’t know about. I don’t judge any of it. I don’t judge any of my characters. I look at is as God gave me a talent to share with the world and I think art saves lives.”

This year we’ll see you in Empire, Think Like A Man Too, and From The Rough, how have you managed to stay working and on such diverse projects?

“God is good. What you’re about to witness is a perfect storm. It’s the perfect timing. I filmed From The Rough four or five years ago and back then I was like ‘It’s got to come out now’ and God was like I have a plan for you. Watch what I do. So now I have a film coming out in the spring, I have one coming out in the summer, and I also have one coming out in the fall with Idris Elba that’s a thriller and that was filmed two years ago.  Everything is coming together all at once.”

How’d you feel when you were asked to host Celebration of Gospel?

“I almost dropped the phone. I know the history of that. They’re trusting me with something that’s been around. Celebration of Gospel, that’s 14 years strong. It’s not new, but I think it’s a great marriage because a lot of the people who watch that show follow me so I was honored to do that.

“I’m very spiritual. I believe in God.  I don’t do anything without praying first and listening to God’s voice. I do go to church. Church is in me. When you’re a God-fearing person, you recognize someone who has God in their heart. So I needed that at that moment. Just as I was about to go off and do all of these things, I had to host that show and it just gave me the spiritual soundness that I needed to stay grounded and focused. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe it.”

How do you maintain spiritually grounded with so many distractions in the industry?

“I can truly see the snakes in the grass and I know that devil when I see him. When something’s not right I can feel it and it’s a lot of that in the industry. People who are trying to be your friend because of what — for shallow reasons. You don’t even know if I’m a cool person. You saw me in a movie and you want to be my friend.

“It’s an industry that’s very narcissistic, people are just out for self and I catch myself doing it. I’m human. We’re all beautifully flawed and so I catch myself and I check that girl. Check it. But the only way you can do that is if you don’t have a bunch of hanger-oners. I travel very light. I don’t have security. All that is probably about to change soon, but I wouldn’t have it every day. I’m not stupid; I don’t like to leave myself vulnerable because it’s a lot of crazy people out there and if they know you move a certain way you’re setting yourself up to be a target.”

How do you feel about the criticisms of Olivia Pope, Mary Jane, and Black women in general on television?

“Oh they’re gonna get me! ‘Why she gotta be comin’ out of jail! Why did she sell drugs?’ But you know what, at the end of the day did they complain when Charlize Theron played Monster? Did they complain when Julia Roberts played a prostitute? And the argument to that is they have more roles, but those same roles get nominated for an Oscar.

“I understand the need for more positive, roles but at the end of the day Olivia Pope is fierce. So what she has a flaw! She’s human! Stop trying to make everything so perfect! Look at the lives she saves and the people she keeps from getting in trouble. So what she’s messing around a little bit. Yes it’s the president; yes it’s tampering with the security of the United States (laughs) but it’s TV! Everything is to the tenth degree. At least she’s not a prostitute on the street corner.

“Being Mary Jane, that lady has her issues, but what woman doesn’t? What person doesn’t? At the core of it all, she’s a good person. She’s just trying to find love. Sh*t! Stop being so judgemental! Don’t make the same mistakes they make, how ‘bout that? Keep it moving. When you see my character, don’t sell drugs, how ‘bout that? Then you won’t go to jail for 17 years and be in a dysfunctional family. How ‘bout that? Take it for what it is. It’s TV. And yes we could use a doctor or a lawyer with a Black person in the lead, but we have Omar Epps who is doing Resurrection and we’re getting ready to see a lot of color on television. Times are changing.”

Did Y’All See? “Scandal” Is Back And So Is RHOA’s Marlo Hampton

March 2nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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After two-and-a-half long, long, long months, “Scandal” is back. The fast-paced political drama returned to our TV screens this past Thursday night and, as expected, Shonda did not disappoint with her signature multi-layer plot lines. Olivia Pope isn’t the only one making a comeback on the boob tube, though, Miss Marlo Hampton has been making her presence extremely well known on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” for the past few weeks and hunty the drama brewing between her and Nene is nothing nice.

Check out MN’s editors diving into all that went down on “Scandal” this past Thursday and why Marlo and Nene both need to have a seat. Consider this your spoiler alert.

To see episodes of Scandal, visit 24wiredtv.

The Top 7 Hairstyles Of Iconic TV Stars

February 28th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Hairstyles Of Iconic TV Stars


From StyleBlazer 

With yesterday being the return of ABC’s “Scandal” and how everyone lives for everything Olivia Pope, we thought it fitting to go through some of the iconic TV stars we’ve loved both yesterday and today for their amazing hair. These are characters who helped shape the trend when it comes to hair and had women all over the world clamoring to get their style.

Naturally Liv, and her perfect swoop bangs and never-a-hair-out-of-place ‘dos, would have prime real estate on our list. Pope’s simple glamour is the ultimate hair inspiration for the working woman who wants serious style with zero fuss.

Here are 7 TV stars with locks that we loved at 

They Don’t Play That: 15 Of Our Favorite Sassy TV Women

February 19th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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Has your inner goddess been a little too subdued lately? Have you found you’ve been keeping quiet to keep the peace in your relationships, friendships and career, but later kick yourself for not speaking up? These 14 TV women can help you get your sass back, and then some!


Thanks to ABC’s Hit Drama “Scandal,” Olivia Pope Wine Glasses Are Selling Like Hot Cakes!

February 13th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Olivia Pope Wine Glasses

Source: ABC

If you’re going to drown your sorrows with red wine, why not do it Olivia Pope style? Crate & Barrel, the brand ABC’s Scandal uses for its wine glasses on set, have seen its drinkware fly off the shelves since its introduction on the critically-acclaimed White House drama series, ChicagoBusiness reports.

Many women seek to mimic Olivia Pope’s chic style, but fans want to emulate Kerry Washington’s Scandal character on her down days, too. After an exhausting day at work, a crestfallen Pope can be seen holding an elegant long-stemmed wine glass as she sips on red wine. Without a speaking role, these wine glasses — made by Crate & Barrel — nabbed the spotlight on their own.

“We are now selling more than 20 times the average weekly volume of the Camille Red Wine Glass (as) before it was prominently featured in the second season of ‘Scandal,’ ” Vicki Lang, Crate’s PR Director, told ChicagoBusiness.

The glass has always been a costumer favorite, according to Lang, but sales have quadrupled between September 2012 and May 2013. During the same time period, sales for similar glasses that are used for white and sparkling wines — which Olivia Pope doesn’t drink —  have remained stagnant.

As you can imagine, Crate & Barrel’s Camille Red Wine Glass, which are manufactured in Slovakia, isn’t easy to get a hold of due to its high demand: “The glasses have been back-ordered for about six weeks from purchase date since last spring,” ChicagoBusiness reports. Scandal fans have depleted the supply!

“We are now working with the manufacturer to keep the (glass) in stock, but due to its handmade nature, it takes a while.”

The Olivia Pope wine glasses, once sold for $12.95 now sell for $14.95 per glass. You can order yours now and receive it by mid-March.

Stephen Bishop Responds To Criticism Of There Being Too Many Black Mistresses On TV

February 10th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

At this point, just about anybody with access to an online forum has weighed in on the controversy that is black women sleeping with married men on television. The disgust erupted among some as soon as “Scandal” made it’s splash in 2012 and now BET’s hit show “Being Mary Jane” has only added more fuel to that ever-growing fire.

We had the chance to chat with one of “Being Mary Jane’s” leading men, Stephen Bishop, a.k.a. David, a.k.a “never answer,” and we decided to get his take on this whole mistress controversy and see whether his allegiance lies with the production team behind his show or the African American community as a whole. Here’s what he had to say on the criticisms.

“I would have to say that I agree. If I’m going to be speaking as a man and as a black man — I don’t want to say anything to hurt either show — but I don’t necessarily think that having a black woman’s position be portrayed like that too many times  is beneficial for anybody involved.

“It happens in every culture. I think [the critics] are right and at the same time, the people who say it’s reality and it needs to be seen, they’re right too. The only middle ground would be we have to stop showing all negative aspects of human life on television and that’s absurd. That’s where drama comes from. So even if [the critics are] right, they’re probably being a little too sensitive”

What do you say to that?

Check out more of Stephen’s comments on the subject in the video below, as well as his take on his character’s honesty with Mary Jane, whether more men should operate like “Never Answer” in real life, and the million dollar question, is he single?

Awww! Olivia Pope’s Daddy Says Kerry Washington Sings To Belly On Set

February 10th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Kerry Washington Sings To Belly

Source: Getty

It was starting to look like Kerry Washington had some Beyonce warriors in her camp, because despite a few random sources spilling the beans on the “Scandal” actress jumping the broom last year and reportedly being pregnant, everyone who actually knows the actress and works with her hasn’t said a word. Until now.

PEOPLE caught up with Joe Morton, a.k.a. Olivia Pope’s daddy, at the BET Honors awards this Saturday and he gave the magazine the cutest little insight into how Kerry Washington handles her pregnancy on set.

“She spends a lot of time singing to it and talking to it to say we’re just playing pretend and everything’s going to be okay, so don’t worry about it,” Daddy Pope said.

“She’s very excited about being a mom. She’s sort of floating around having just been married and now having a baby and putting a family together. She’s in pig heaven, as they say.”


Despite his speaking on Kerry’s pregnancy now, Joe said his TV daughter asked all of her castmates to keep her pregnancy a secret until she was ready to reveal it to the world and, of course, they all obliged.

“We’re loyal to her and that’s what she wanted – she wanted to keep it private – and we thought, ‘Well, it’s her baby, let’s help her do that.’ “

As for his thoughts on what type of mother, Miss Washington, or shall we say Mrs. Nnamdi Asomugha, will be, Joe said this:

“She’s a very smart woman, very kind, very affectionate and she wants this baby – which is the key to it all.”

His advice for her husband and father-to-be?

“Be loving and affectionate and just take care of my daughter.”

Wise words.